Title

Men in White

Student Collector

Gianna PatchettFollow

Date Collected

Winter 12-2018

Place item was collected

Porto Velho, Rondonia, Brazil

Informant

Elderlandia Batista Silva

Point of Discovery/Informant Bio

Elderlandia lives in Porto Velho, Rondonia, Brasil but was born in Manicore, an interior city in the state of Amazonas. She moved to Porto Velho about four years ago. Porto Velho is the capital of Rondonia and is an average sized city near the border of Brazil and Bolivia. I do not know her personally but when a friend of mine heard I was looking for legends she gave me her contact information. My friend said that Elderlandia has a lot of stories. Elderlandia is married with one son around the age of eight. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, though her husband is not. She works as a janitor at a school but is finishing a degree in Chemistry.

Context

Elderlandia told me this story after a mutual friend put us in contact when she found out I was looking for legends. We sent messages over Facebook Messenger where she typed out all these stories in her native Portuguese. I copied her messages and then translated them into English. She told me four stories over the course of two days (Saturday and Sunday when she had the most time) and began our conversation by saying, “I have great stories to tell, some are really scary.” Most of these stories were told her by the older people in her family. When I asked if she had any personal stories she said no and that she is grateful for it because she doesn’t have a psychologist prepared for it. This story, like the others, takes place in what the Brazilians call “the interior.” This term refers to a city or village outside the state’s capital and usually has the connotation of being in the middle of the jungle. This story happened in the interior of Amazonas, the state that contains the most of the Amazon Rainforest. This story has direct reference to a common Amazonian Legend about pink dolphins who turn in to men wearing white who come to village parties and seduce the girls, often leaving them pregnant.

Text

Portuguese:

Olá meu bem!

Vamos lá então. As histórias que vou lhe contar, foram contadas por pessoas mais velhas de minha família. Algumas são de arrepiar, outras bem curiosas!

Uma das minhas preferidas é sobre bôto. Ele vira gente ou não?

História (verídica) contada por minha mãe.

Minha mãe viveu toda sua infância e juventude no interior em terras ribeirinhas. Meu avô e bisavô tinham uma vasta propriedade em um lugar próximo a Borba (vou perguntar o nome, assim que souber te falo), interior do Amazonas. Lá a casa ficava bem próximo ao Rio Manicoré. Bem próximo mesmo, tipo uns 20 metros do porto que servia de saia e chegada de barcos. Meu avô e bisavô extraiam e vendiam madeira. Nessa época ainda não tinham energia elétrica, usavam muito a luz de lampião ou lamparina.

Minha mãe conta que em dias de lua cheia os irmãos mais velhos faziam uma fogueira na frente da casa para conversarem até que o sono ou cansaço batessem. Por fim, em algumas vezes a conversa se seguia por longas horas só observando o crepitar das chamas. E acredite ou não eles ouviam pessoas conversando no porto. Homens vestidos de branco, conversando em cima das muradas do porto. Em alguns momentos um ou outro sempre mergulhava e logo emergia um boto.

Essa história me deixa arrepiada! Hahahahaha

Pois bem, bôtos que viram homens bonitos existem sim. Minha mãe não teria porque mentir.

English Translation:

Hello my dear!

Let’s get to it. The stories I will tell you were told by the oldest people in my family. Some will make your skin crawl, others are just curious!

One of my favorites is about the dolphin. Does he turn into a man or not?

The story (true) as told by my mother.

My mother lived all of her childhood and youth in the interior in land on the riversides. My grandpa and great grandpa had a vast property in a place close to Borba (I will ask the name, as soon as I know I’ll tell you), interior of Amazonas. There the house was really close to the Mancore River. Really really close, like some 20 meters from the port that served for the coming and going of boats. My grandpa and great grandpa extracted and sold wood. In this time they still didn’t have electricity, they used a lot of light from lanterns or lamps.

My mother told that on the days with a full moon her oldest brothers made a bonfire in front of the house to converse until sleep or exhaustion came. At last, sometimes the conversation was followed by long hours just observing the crackling of the flames. And believe it or not they heard people conversing on the port. Men dressed in white, conversing on top of the walls of the port. In some moments one or another always dived into the water and soon emerged a dolphin.

This story leaves me with goosebumps! Hahahahaha

Anyway my dear, dolphins that turn into men do exist. My mother wouldn’t have any reason to lie.

Texture

Elderlandia definitely believes all the stories she told me and mentioned many times in our conversation that they scare her. This story was told to her by her mother (whose name is Alida) and a lot of her belief comes from that because she doesn’t think her mother would lie. This story was typed in a Facebook Message so there isn’t any form of auditory inflection, though I copied her punctuation use (which is almost always incorrect) and spacing exactly in the English translation. Because I don’t know Elderlandia personally, I don’t know if her texting reflected anything of her emotions. However, many times when she would tell me how scary the stories she told are, she would follow the text with a nervously laughing smiley face emoji (Finch Stickers on Messenger). It seems that every time I asked her a question or she finished a story she would say again just how creepy the stories she knows are. I get the feeling that she has many more supernatural stories to tell.

Course

ENGL 2210

Instructor

Dr. Lynne McNeill

Semester and year

Fall 2018

Theme

G7: Supernatural or Supernormal Characters or Creatures

EAD Number

2.5.5.57

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